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Top Upcoming Summer Concerts In Philadelphia

Events in Philadelphia offer the opportunity to see musical entities from Madonna to Jimmy Buffet and back again, but this year it's the summer festivals that present unique chances to see a host of artists in the same place. This list of must-see festivals will become sold-out shows quickly, so plan your summer concert schedule now.
Festival Pier at Penn's Landing 
121 North Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Nightlife & Music Summer Concerts
Photo Credit:

Identity Festival

Date: July 29 at 2 p.m.
Price: $60 per ticket
Click here for tickets

The Identity Festival tours brings an animated concert of dub-step, house, breakbeat and drums and bass music to Philadelphia. This show celebrates electronic music with a stocked lineup headlined by one of its founding fathers, Eric Prydz. It continues with a diverse and international crew, including Excision, Showtek, Noisia, Arty, Eva Simons and many more. In addition to the main stage of Festival Pier, the indoor Rockstar Energy Drink stage will be in full swing and vendors will be selling food and alcohol to your heart's content. An all-ages event, this traveling electronic music festival presents an entertaining and stimulating show for the second year in a row.

Nightlife & Music Summer Concerts, Blues Traveler
(Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

Last Summer On Earth Tour
River Stage, Great Plaza at Penn's Landing
Columbus Boulevard at Market Street

Date: August 15, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.
Price: $55 per ticket
Click here for tickets

With all the rumors about the end of the world taking place in 2012, the "Last Summer On Earth Tour" will bring you back to a simpler time with the bands that rocked it before Y2K even hit. Barenaked Ladies and Blues Traveler will grace Philadelphia with a night of retro tunes and alternative rock alongside bands Cracker and Big Head Todd & the Monsters. Known for high energy performances, the set list should be full of songs that first made these two groups famous and currently make crowds across the globe want to sing along. The RiverStage at Penn's Landing provides a scenic backdrop for a concert all but straight out of the nineties. The upbeat tunes of this lively show will have no problem convincing you that "it's all for you."

Nightlife & Music Summer Concerts, Sublime with Rome
(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

Hemp Heals Music Festival

Date: August 25, 2012 at 4 p.m.
Price: $49.50 plus fees
Click here for tickets

The 90s are knocking on Philadelphia's doorstep with this show headlined by Sublime featuring Rome, as well as Cypress Hill and Pepper. A concert with a cause, the Hemp Heals Festival is presented by former Philadelphia Flyer Riley Cotes as part of his drive to raise awareness about the nutritional benefits of hemp and other "superfoods." According to Cotes, the show is a must-see event for more than just music; it also provides "the opportunity to learn about health and nutrition and the eco-friendly lifestyle." Unlike the usual fare of Festival Pier, the grounds will be filled with hemp health foods, products and opportunities to get educated about the holistic properties of the herb. After a day at this festival, you'll understand what "summertime and the livin's easy" truly means––at least in the world of hemp and musical harmonies.

Nightlife & Music Summer Concerts, Folk Fest
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Philadelphia Folk Festival 
Old Pool Farm 
1323 Salford Station Road
Schwenksville, PA 19473
(610) 287-7818

Dates: August 17 to 19, 2012 all day
Price: Single-day tickets: $58 to $80; All-festival, 3-day and camping tickets $130+ (Prices go up after August 1)
Click here for tickets

Three days, six stages and more than 80 hours of music beckon at the 51st edition of the annual Philadelphia Folk Festival. Featuring legends of the genre like Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, John Hiatt and Little Feat, this year's lineup is so packed that Saturday boasts nonstop performances from 11 a.m. to midnight. The 50-year veteran hosting the festival, radio personality Gene Shay, will present the array of must-see folk performers, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Voices of the Wetland, Wanda Jackson and many more. Beyond the stage and 3,500 square feet of dance space, you'll also find shopping at the open-air craft gallery and festival merch tent, food of all different cuisines and a campground teeming with impromptu jam sessions and cookouts. Setting up camp for the weekend ensures the full festival experience, but the hour-long drive from the city also makes it an easy day-trip. The Philadelphia Folk Festival entertains all ages and even offers family-friendly programming like kiddie concerts, story-tellers and arts and crafts sessions.

Related: Top Spots For A Picnic In Philadelphia

Nightlife & Music Summer Concerts Jay-Z
(Photo credit: GUILLAUME BAPTISTE/AFP/GettyImages)

Budweiser Made in America Festival
Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(800) 745-3000

Dates: September 1 to 2, 2012 all day
Price: Two Day Passes for sale in tiers beginning at $135 up to $330
Click here for tickets

When Jay-Z stood on the steps of the Art Museum and proclaimed, "let there be a concert in Philadelphia headlined by me," the arrival of the "Budweiser Made in America Festival" made it so. Taking over the Ben Franklin Parkway for Labor Day weekend with a killer two-day line-up, it's the show everyone will be looking forward to all summer. Sponsored by the "Great American Lager" in the birthplace of our nation, Jay-Z headlines the eclectic musical affair alongside the likes of rock band Pearl Jam, electronic music producer Skrillex, Swedish indie band Miike Snow and Maybach Music, featuring rappers like Wale and Rick Ross. Other music to your ears will come from Calvin Harris, Odd Future, D'Angelo and local artists such as Santigold. Get your ticket soon, because as each tier sells out, the price goes higher. Once Labor Day rolls around, plan to utilize Philadelphia's public transportation, because this music festival is sure to turn the streets of the city into a parking lot. And don't forget a water bottle – there will be free filtered water stations and summer heat will be in full force.

Related: Top Summertime Bars In Philadelphia

Lindsay Lewis is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at
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